Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Adapted Physical Education
- What is the Adapted Physical
Education (APE) teaching minor?
- One of the most
popular, meaningful, and career-determining teaching minors completed by
physical education teacher candidates.
- Courses and hands-on
clinical experiences to prepare physical education teachers to plan,
implement, and evaluate instruction for students with disabilities in
adapted physical education.
- Coursework and
hands-on clinical experiences to prepare physical education teacher
candidates for inclusive classrooms in regular instructional
- An exciting,
rewarding, and fun experience at UW-L where you meet many new friends,
professors, and important school-based professional contacts for future
- A highly regarded
teacher preparation program leading to the additional Wisconsin Adapted
Physical Education teaching license (refer to question #3 below).
- Why should I consider completing
the APE teaching minor?
- To acquire enhanced
teaching knowledge and practical skills necessary for contemporary
- To further develop
your teaching and advocacy skills to meet the needs of ALL students in
your future physical education classes and co-curricular programs.
- Successful completion
of the APE teaching minor leads to attainment of the important Wisconsin
860 add-on teaching license in adapted physical education. See page 172
at the following link to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
- Over 60-70% of the
physical education jobs advertised in Wisconsin include a qualification
statement that either requires or prefers the APE add-on teaching
license. See link for Wisconsin (http://ww2.wisconsin.gov/state/employment/app?COMMAND=gov.wi.state.cpp.job.command.DoJobSearch&catIdentity=general&requestedpage=0);
See link for Minnesota (https://statejobs.doer.state.mn.us/JobPosting)
- To provide quality
instruction for all students regardless of ability in commonly used
- School districts need
and desire physical education teachers with adapted physical education
background and state licensure. UW-L is notified frequently about these
- What is the Wisconsin 860 APE
add-on teaching license?
- An additional teaching
license that signifies “highly qualified” teacher status for competency
in adapted physical education for special education students in PK-12
- Wisconsin is one of 14
states with a separate add-on teaching license in adapted physical
education. School districts seek teachers with multiple licenses
for qualified and flexible staffing.
- Minnesota PE teachers
can also pursue an APE add-on license. The WI APE add-on meets
most of the MN requirements. We regularly have UW-L graduates hired in
MN as APE teachers.
- The Wisconsin 860 APE
add-on teaching license is highly regarded throughout the country by
other state education agencies and school districts.
- How do I apply to the APE
- Go to the following
adapted physical education teaching minor program link to review the
brief application process. http://www.uwlax.edu/sah/ess/sape/html/ugrad.htm
- Complete and submit
your application and reference letter for one of the many annual due
- Visit Dr. Manny Felix
(115 Wittich Hall) or Dr. Garth Tymeson (131 Mitchell Hall) for a
personal explanation of the program, application process, or other
questions about the APE minor.
- Do I need experience teaching
persons with disabilities to apply to the APE Teaching Minor?
- No prior experience
teaching or working with persons with disabilities is necessary for
- The minor provides
future teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to teach
persons with disabilities using a variety of physical education methods
- The minor provides a
variety of sport, aquatics, physical fitness, motor development, and
other physical activities to prepare future teachers for general and
adapted physical education.
- Hands-on experiences
take place on campus, at areas schools, and in facilities such as YMCAs,
Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, and other community sites.
- The APE teaching minor
relies on hands-on experiences in order to help teacher candidates
obtain confidence and mastery of teaching skills.
- Numerous UW-L programs
such as the Physical Activity Mentoring Program for Persons with
Disabilities are available to gain practical experiences
- When do I apply to the APE
- Full acceptance to the
APE teaching minor is contingent upon acceptance to the Physical
Education Teacher Education (PETE) program.
- Students can apply
during or immediately after completion of ESS 231 (Introduction to
Adapted Physical Education). Students can also apply later, but
early entrance is recommended.
- At the same time or
after applying for admission to the Physical Education Teacher Education
Program (PETE). This is usually in the sophomore or junior year.
- PETE teaching
candidates are highly encouraged to apply to the APE teaching minor
early in their program of study to ensure timely completion.
- What are the ages and
disabilities of students that an APE teacher works with?
- An exciting aspect of
teaching APE is your work with students ranging from preschool to young
adults (ages 3-21). State and federal education laws require this age
range for services.
- Persons with APE
teaching assignments may work with students who have all types and
severities of disabilities, including physical, cognitive, behavioral,
- APE teaching minor
courses and clinical experiences prepare you to teach ALL students to
benefit from and enjoy physical activity.
- How long will it take to complete
the APE Teaching Minor?
- The minor is composed
of 24 semester credit hours, including student teaching.
- With timely admission
to the APE teaching minor and consistent enrollment in required courses,
students can complete the minor in about one and a half years (including
student teaching) while completing other PETE courses.
- Some students will
purposely spread out the APE minor course work over 2 years, including a
- Students are required
to enroll in a minimum one summer course while completing the APE minor.
Two to three APE courses are generally offered each summer.
- Will I student teach in adapted
physical education as part of the APE teaching minor?
- Yes, an exciting
culminating experience is the mentoring you will receive during student
teaching by a state licensed APE professional.
- This APE student
teaching does NOT add time to your student teaching and is completed at
the same time as regular student teaching (for your 530 general physical
education teaching license).
- Approximate 25-30% of
your student teaching, depending on the placement, will be in adapted
physical education settings with mentoring from an APE professional.
- Will the APE Teaching Minor make me more marketable in
- What types of teaching situations or jobs do persons
attain with the APE minor?
- A wide variety of jobs
are possible in schools based on student enrollment, number of schools
in the district, size of the special education program, staffing needs,
and other factors.
- Many districts employ
professionals who teach APE full-time (100% of their job).
- Full-time APE teachers
will work with children and assist general physical education teachers
as consultants for students with disabilities who may be included in
- Full-time employment
will often include part-time teaching responsibilities in APE (could be
percentages ranging from 20-75% depending on school building or district
- Percentages of APE
teaching load will vary from district to district based on student
populations, needs in the district, numbers and qualifications of
teachers, and other factors.
- Will the APE minor and WI 860 APE add-on teaching
license from UW-L transfer to other states?
- Yes, we regularly have
students accept APE teaching jobs in MN and other states (Utah,
Illinois, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, North Carolina,
Florida, Alaska, etc.).
- Some states may
require additional courses to meet unique state requirements, but we
have found this to be rare (or 1-2 courses at the most).
- Can I attain the WI 860 APE add-on teaching license
after I complete my undergraduate degree with general physical education
- Yes, a student who
already has a bachelor’s degree and physical education teaching license
(530) may earn the WI 860 APE add-on teaching license in either one of
two graduate options at UW-L.
- A teacher with a 530
general PE license may earn the WI 860 license through the summer-only
graduate APE certification program (http://www.uwlax.edu/sah/ess/sape/html/grad.htm).
- A teacher with a 530
general PE license may also earn the WI 860 license through the full- or
part-time master’s degree program in Physical Education Teaching (http://www.uwlax.edu/sah/ess/sape/html/grad.htm).
- Are there graduate school opportunities in adapted
physical education at the master’s and doctoral degrees levels?
- Yes, many students
pursue graduate level work in APE after graduation from UW-La Crosse.
- UW-L serves as a
feeder school to many federally funded graduate programs in APE
throughout the country (these programs have scholarships and financial
assistance for qualified students).
- Past UW-L students
have pursued master’s level work at: SUNY Brockport, University of
Virginia, Oregon State University, University of Utah, etc.
- Our graduates have
pursued doctoral level study at: The Ohio State University, Texas
Woman’s University, Oregon State University, University of Alabama,
Arizona State University, etc.
- UW-L faculty
personally and professionally know directors of these programs and can
facilitate important connections and admissions process conversations
for qualified UW-L graduates.
- What is the UW-L APE Undergraduate Fellowship Program? Is financial
- The APE Fellowship is
a select group of undergraduate APE students who receive a financial
stipend of approximately $4,000 per year.
- APE Fellowship
students gain advanced knowledge and skills through a combination of
public school practicum experiences and professional development
- Interested students
apply for the APE Fellowship. Approximately 10 APE Fellowship
students are chosen every year.
- The APE Fellowship is
funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of
Special Education and Rehabilitation Services.
- The federal grant
supporting fellowships is the only one in the country supporting APE
teachers at the undergraduate level. UW-L was awarded this grant
because of its high quality program.
- What makes the UWL APE program unique?
- We are part of Center
of Excellence designated for the Department of Exercise and Sport
Science by the University of Wisconsin System.
- Wisconsin only 1 of 14
states that possesses a separate teaching license in APE.
- UW-L has three
doctoral level faculty members contributing to this comprehensive APE
teacher preparation program.
- APE teacher
preparation is closely affiliated with the Center on Disability Health
and Adapted Physical Activity (http://www.uwlax.edu/sah/ess/sape/html/spp.htm).
The Center provides numerous opportunities for professional development,
community service, research, and networking connections for future
- Excellent state,
national, and international reputations for APE teacher preparation.
- Comprehensive program
based on theory and best practices, and accompanied by numerous
supervised service-learning experiences in the real-world.
- Relationships with
numerous disability related organizations and community agencies that
provide future teacher candidates with relevant professional
- Network of experienced
APE teachers and special education related service professionals that
work with our students (i.e., physical and occupational therapists).
- Supported by
interdisciplinary faculty and staff from the Departments of Exercise and
Sport Science, Special Education, Therapeutic Recreation, Occupational
Therapy and Physical Therapy, and other disability related programs.
- Are there other types of non-teaching jobs for APE teaching minors?
- Students completing
the APE teaching minor find employment in positions besides school
- Sport organizations
such as the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (www.glasa.org),
Lakeshore Foundation (www.lakeshore.org/),
and many others hire APE graduates.
- Inclusion Specialists
at YMCAs, community centers, and Parks/Recreation agencies.
- U.S. Paralympics (
- Adaptive Adventure
- Residential, summer,
and other types of camps and treatment facilities.